The Home Office has released shocking new figures which reveal that religious hate crime has almost doubled in the West Midlands in the last year.
West Midlands Police reported 87 offences committed in 2013-2014, which jumped to 163 in the following year.
A higher number of religiously motivated crimes were recorded by only two other police forces within England and Wales, whilst the total number of hate crimes cemented the West Midlands in fourth place in the two countries.
The number of hate crimes reported to West Midlands Police, including homophobic attacks, amounted to 3,414.
Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation saw a rise of 35 per cent, from 231 to 312 offences, whilst transgender hate crimes increased by four per cent.
The number of reported hate crimes motivated by race increased by a total of 16 per cent, reaching 3,023 crimes last year.
Analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales which was published alongside the new statistics suggested that Muslims are significantly more likely to fall victim to hate crimes than individuals from other faith groups.
Prime Minister David Cameron, who has revealed that offences against Muslims will now be recorded as a separate category, declared the findings “unacceptable”.
Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation, Karen Bradley, described hate crimes as “absolutely abhorrent”.
She added: “The increase in recorded hate crime shows that more victims have the confidence to come forward and that the police are improving the way they identify and record hate crimes. We welcome this.”
Chair of Police Federation of England and Wales, Steve White, said the increase in the number of reported hate crimes “can be read as a worrying trend or a positive sign that victims feel more confident in coming forward”.
He added: “Bald statistics can never tell the whole story, but regardless of why the figures are up, if we have more reports of hate crime, we need more resources to investigate and stop it.”